Tor history and technology, was Re: Dishonest Tor relay math question

Peter Fairbrother peter at
Wed Jun 7 11:42:22 PDT 2023

On 06/06/2023 07:41, Undescribed Horrific Abuse, One Victim & Survivor 
of Many wrote:
>> As to constant bandwidth/covertraffic, that is expensive even today. For
>> constant bandwidth to get a 5 second response time for a smallish say
>> 3MB web page you need to have 3 MB of covertraffic every 5 seconds, or
>> 50GB per day, per link. Ouch.
> I thought about this a little bit, and the concern doesn't add up to me.
> As a consumer and participant in small businesses, I've only ever seen
> bandwidth that is metered per availability, not per use. The price is
> the same whether I use it or not.

Up to a point, yes. In most cases that point is 25GB/month, after which 
your traffic gets throttled. Unmetered lower bandwidth contracts also 
exist, but don't help enough.

However, you miss my point - the requirement is 50GB per day, *per link*.

Imagine you are a TOR entry node. If you are serving 1,000 people - 
which is not a whole lot - you need to serve 50 TB of dummy traffic per day.

For free.

Big ouch.

Plus you need links to intermediate nodes - to do this properly you need 
a link to every possible intermediate node, which should be in the tens 
of thousands or more.

550 TB per day.

So not happening.

As for low latency highly anonymous traffic, well we had remailers, 
which worked up to a point, and which were getting better - until TOR 
came along and took up all the science and coolness and innocent cover 
traffic and the cypherpunks who actually wrote code; and remailer 
development basically stopped.

Peter Fairbrother

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